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Lesson Transcript

Oksana: Oksana here. All about, Lesson 5. Five Phrases That Will Take You A Long Way.
Eddie: Welcome back to RussianPod101, the place to learn and to love Russian. In this lesson, we are going discuss and learn five really useful phrases that you probably won’t see taught in places like books and classrooms.
Oksana: Yes. In this lesson we’ll introduce you to 5 phrases that will help you every day! Russian that real Russians speak as they go about their day.
Eddie: You’ll find these words and phrases will set you apart from many other Russian learners. You’ll not only know the phrases but more importantly, where and when to use them.
Oksana: The first word is, ‘Счастливо’ which is, Goodbye.
Eddie: Isn’t, ‘goodbye’ - ‘до свидания’ for formal situations and, ‘пока‘ just more informal?
Oksana: You’re right!
Eddie: OK so if we have the formal and informal, what else is there?
Oksana: Well, ‘до свидания’ might sometimes sound a bit too formal, and, ‘пока’ a bit too informal. I mean, if you visit Russia you’re probably not going to know anyone well enough to use ‘пока’.
Eddie: That’s true.
Oksana: And, ‘до свидания’ may be too much, for instance in a restaurant, maybe once you’ve become acquainted with the person who has been serving you throughout your meal, you’re not gonna want to say goodbye too formally right at the end, or maybe you just want to change!
Eddie: Where does the word come from?
Oksana: It comes from the word, ‘happy’ (счастливый) and literally means a wish of happiness to the person you are saying goodbye to.
Eddie: That’s nice!
Oksana: Yes, it is actually. You usually use it with people you know rather than strangers but as you see, one can quickly become acquainted with a stranger.
Eddie: So it sounds more polite than, ‘пока’ but not totally formal, yes, it’s perfect really.
Oksana: Yes, I mean, if you address someone as, ‘вы’ rather than, ‘ты’, you wouldn't normally say, ‘пока’ but you can say ‘счастливо’.
Eddie: Is there anything particular to note about the pronunciation?
Oksana: Good question. The first sound in, ‘счастливо’ is pronounced like the sound, 'щ’ and not, ‘сч’.
Eddie: I see. Ok, so what's the next phrase?
Oksana: Вы не подскажете... - Could you tell me…
Eddie: Don’t you usually learn to say, ‘извините’ quite early on as a student?
Oksana: Yes very often, and of course there is nothing wrong with using it if you ask for directions or something like that.
Eddie: Is there a ‘but’ coming up here?
Oksana: Not at all, it’s just that using, 'вы не подскажете’ will certainly make you sound more natural and polite at the same time. It can be used with, ‘извините’.
Eddie: Can you give us a real world example?
Oksana: Извните, вы не подскажете, где улица Маяковского? - Excuse me, could you tell me where Mayakovsky street is?
Eddie: Oh I see, that’s fabulous. We all need directions from time to time.
Oksana: Another example is: Извините, вы не подскажите, когда следующий автобус? - Excuse me, could you please tell me when the next bus is?
Eddie: That sounds like me, missing the bus all the time!
Oksana: I’ve got a special Russian tip for missing buses. Works all over the world though it’s a closely guarded secret.
Eddie: You do? Great! Can you divulge this information?
Oksana: Yes, leave earlier, Eddie.
Eddie: I should have seen that one coming.
Oksana: Which brings us nicely to, ‘Ничего страшного’, which is “no worries” or “no problem”.
Eddie: I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that.
Oksana: I’m not surprised actually. This is very rarely taught to beginners despite it being extremely useful. We all know how often you say ‘no problem’ in English.
Eddie: Isn’t, ‘no problem’ translated to, “нет проблем”?
Oksana: You’re right although it isn’t usually used in the same context as it is in English.
Eddie: And that is the underlying message throughout this lesson really. Especially when it comes to spoken everyday language, many things just can’t be translated literally word for word and that goes for any language.
Oksana: ‘Ничего страшного’ literally means ‘nothing scary’ and can be used in a variety of situations, to accept an apology or to reassure someone.
Eddie: So let’s look at another real world example. If someone pushes you in the metro and then apologizes?
Oksana: You can reply: ‘Ничего страшного’.
Eddie: Or a friend calls you and says he can’t meet you today - ‘Ничего страшного’.
Oksana: And another example is if a child failed an exam you’d say, ‘Ничего страшного, сдашь в следующий раз!’
Eddie: Which means, ‘No worries, you’ll pass next time.’
Oksana: Exactly.
Eddie: Great, what’s next?
Oksana: What would you say if I sneezed?
Eddie: Er... Do you need a tissue?
Oksana: OK, what else?
Eddie: Oh! Erm, do you have a cold?
Oksana: Oh my goodness, you’d say, ‘Bless you’ - Будьте здоровы!
Eddie: Oh I see! Yes, bless you.
Oksana: When someone sneezes, some Russian people might consider it impolite if you don’t say anything, so 'будьте здоровы’ is a good phrase to know.
Eddie: And you will certainly impress your Russian friends if you use this phrase in front of them.
Oksana: Especially if you get the gender right!
Eddie: Gender?! Not again?! Even for something like bless you after sneezing?
Oksana: Absolutely, to use this phrase correctly you need to keep in mind if you address the person who sneezed formally or informally. If you address them formally using, 'вы', you should say “будьте здоровы”.
Eddie: What about if you addressing them informally using ‘ты’?
Oksana: You should say - ‘будь здоров’ if you are speaking to a man, and 'будь здорова’ if you are speaking to a woman.
Eddie: I see. So that’s four, what’s the last?
Oksana: “Хорошо”, which is, ‘Good, ‘OK’ or ‘Well’.
Eddie: And this is probably the most common word in spoken Russian wouldn’t you say?
Oksana: Absolutely, native speakers use it all the time, which makes it difficult for learners to grasp its exact meaning.
Eddie: Yes I’ve heard it many times. Does it use depend on context?
Oksana: Well, even though 'хорошо’ comes from ‘хороший’, which means ‘good’, we would normally translate it as ‘ok’ or ‘fine’ rather than ‘great’. If your teacher says, ‘хорошо’ after you've finished an exercise, don’t get too excited!
Eddie: So it doesn’t mean you did well?
Oksana: In that setting it usually means, ‘ok, we can move on now’ rather than praise you. However, ‘очень хорошо’ - “very good” is usually a compliment!
Eddie: I’ll look out for that one then!
Oksana: Indeed.
Eddie: This has been great, let’s have a quick recap. The first word we mentioned was “счастливо” which is a neutral way to say good-bye.
Oksana: Then we discovered “Вы не подскажете….”, which means “Could you tell me…”
Eddie: The third phrase was “Ничего страшного”, which you use when someone apologizes to you.
Oksana: Then came “Будьте здоровы!” to be said after you sneeze.
Eddie: And lastly “хорошо”, which simply means “ok”.
Oksana: Great! As we’ve learned, these are common phrases that are used in English and indeed any language. It’s what keeps the language ‘oiled’ as it’s focused on what people say to each other every day rather than some dry academic writing that nobody actually speaks.
Eddie: This really summarises learning with RussianPod101, we know that any language needs to be learned correctly, but we also know that languages are ‘alive’ and spoken by everyday people in everyday situations and this is just as important to learn. Ok, that just about does it for today. Before we go, we want to tell you about a way to drastically improve your pronunciation.
Oksana: The voice recording tool...
Eddie: Yes, the voice recording tool in the premium learning center...
Oksana: Record your voice with a click of a button,
Eddie: and then play it back just as easily.
Oksana: So you record your voice, and then listen to it.
Eddie: Compare it to the native speakers...
Oksana: And adjust your pronunciation!
Eddie: This will help you improve your pronunciation fast! Ok, thanks for listening, good bye.
Oksana: Счастливо.